AJC Lite

It costs more now to print and deliver a newspaper. That’s the reason the AJC cited Sunday for announcing that it would eliminate its Sunday @Issue opinions section, starting next week. @Issue was the liveliest section of the newspaper. Yesterday’s @Issue consisted of two broadsheets folded into eight pages. We’re trying to picture how its elimination will substantially save precious money spent on newsprint and fuel.

The untold story is the one behind the scenes, nicely outlined last week in Creative Loafing. The Loaf has a long list of familiar names that will leave the newspaper in the most recent buyout upheaval. Among them: Columnists Furman Bisher (who may continue to write freelance) and Maria Saporta. From the Loaf:

According to sources who said they had direct knowledge, the familiar bylines taking the buyout include golf writer Stan Awtrey, college football editor Tony Barnhart, city and regional editor Arthur Brice, high school sports writer Curtis Bunn, real estate (and former government) reporter Julie Hairston, investigative reporter Ann Hardie, veteran reporter Bill Hendrick, news feature writer Michelle Hiskey, “Technobuddy” columnist Bill Husted, higher ed reporter Andrea Jones, film reviewer Longino, Gwinnett reporter Rebecca McCarthy, Cobb reporter Tom Opdyke, Horizon reporter David Pendered and Saporta.

The article says that 73 AJC staffers accepted the buyout. The high number means the AJC will avoid involuntary layoffs of editorial staff. But imagine being among those left behind; this Loaf quote from an unnamed staffer says it best: “All the people who are leaving wish they were staying; all the people who are staying wish they were leaving.”

This entry was posted in AJC, Creative Loafing on by .

About live apt fire

Doug Richards is a reporter at WXIA-TV. This is his personal blog. WXIA-TV has nothing whatsoever to do with this blog, under any circumstances, in any form. For anything written herein, Doug accepts sole credit and full blame. Follow him on Twitter: @richardsdoug. All rights reserved. Thanks for visiting.

6 thoughts on “AJC Lite

  1. JasonC

    There was buzz about this on some sports blogs. Many college football fans cited Tony Barnhart as the sole reason to get the AJC. There is no way these cuts can help circulation. Cheaper to print, but less sales is still a bad situation.

  2. rptrcub

    It’s sad, because people back in the earlier part of this decade couldn’t even get internships in college with the AJC without having interned at other high-level papers. Now, they’re replacing more experienced people with younger reporters from much smaller papers.

  3. Krusty

    I worked for these clowns. They reap what they sow. They have a sales staff that can only function in a monopolistic sales environment… and they too slow to evolve as media habits changed. The AJC’s website is poorly run, because it’s being run by newspaper people and not people who are familiar and experienced with digital media. When Cox started Cox Interactive Media, the former AJC higher-ups who were (and some still are) ensconced at Cox Corporate made sure their AJC cronies got cushy executive jobs at the fledgling interactive company. Notice how CIM failed miserably in less than five years?

  4. B Allen

    The future of news (other than TV) is the internet, but the AJC sure is speeding up the process by becoming the incredible shrinking newspaper! Would it not make sense to transfer these people they dumped to the AJC.com website and beef up it’s offerings and find a way to make revenue from it. At this rate, all the newspaper and website will be are reprints of AP reports and the classifieds. But like was said here before…people who don’t know (or want) to change will get destroyed by change.
    Great blog by the way, keep up the good work!

  5. Newsguy

    Pitiful…but newspapers are a dying breed. In the era of the quick sound bite and unsubstantiated blog entry, no one cares about them anymore–including those who publish them. In my own little community of 80 homes, fewer than a dozen take the newspaper.

  6. Edward

    The AJC’s website is a mess. I have emailed them about dead links to no avail. The same dead links appear for days, if not weeks, and the only response I’ve ever received from someone there is, “that’s a database problem, we’ll look into it.” Evidently they’re trying to use technology they don’t know how to actually use. Their “webmasters” are woefully inadequate for the task. And the incredibly annoying “auto refresh” on the main page is simply a toy that produces no real value, only an annoyance to everyone.

    If this is the best the AJC can do, then they deserve to be left on the wayside.


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